Humanities Data

Written by: Thomas Padilla

Primary Source: Thomas Padila

Yesterday, I talked with a group of folks in the History Department about this thing we’ve been kicking around the library called “Humanities Data”. Thanks to Dean Rehberger for the invite, and thanks also to Brandon Locke for hosting us in the newly launched LEADR lab. The presentation itself was in part a product of some writing Devin Higgins and I have been doing together on Digital Collections as Humanities Data, and why that framing might be useful for librarians to think about. If all goes well I’ll be linking to a preprint relatively soon. In lieu of the preprint Im sharing the presentation which includes some of the definitional questions we work through in the paper.

For the curious, we put forward the following definition of data:

Data are records of difference arranged, interpreted, and put into the service of argumentation according to disciplinary norms and methodologies.

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Thomas Padilla
Thomas Padilla is Digital Humanities Librarian at Michigan State University Libraries. Prior to his move to Michigan he was at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign working at the Scholarly Commons and the Preservation Unit of the University Library. Prior to that he was at the Library of Congress doing digital preservation outreach and education. Thomas maintains diverse interests in digital humanities, digital preservation, data curation, archives, History, and interdisciplinarity. His work and projects often map to these areas of interest.